Dammmm....i knew it.
There was one team I didn't want to meet in the playoffs…the 9ers. I smiled when NO won the wildcard game knowing that it sends the 9ers to visit the Panthers. It's not that I think they are the better team or that we can't win against them, not at all. It's not even because I think they are the hardest to beat of all other 5 NFC playoff team. It's just that if they win it would feel far worse then losing to any other team and we will not stop hearing about it for a year.
However, while hoping it would be one of the others, I knew it would be them. It couldn't be anyone else. It had to be them against us on the biggest stage we could ever meet on.
I'm an Israeli. I grew up in a small country surrounded by enemies that out numbered us by a factor of 20. Israeli boys learn a lot about David facing Goliath. It's a wonderful story. The big bad behemoth facing the smart agile warrior is defiantly Hollywood material. Alas, this is the age of bigger and stronger. This is the age for Goliath against…Goliath. (in 3D)
In my mind the 9ers are the only team worthy of facing us this Sunday. They are the only oneד that would put an epic fight over every inch of grass. The 9ers are the only team that would not cringe when thinking about facing us. They want revenge. They want the title. They are not afraid of anyone. They will come to Seattle to fight and get it or die trying. SO WILL WE.
In 3 playoff games this year played by the Seahawks and 9ers there is one common number that stands out. 23 points.
In all 3 games the winner scored 23 points.
2 touchdowns, 3 field goals – 23 points. Write it down. That’s what it takes to win this one. Once one of the teams reachs this number – it will win the game. Not a tall offensive order but considering both defenses – not a piece of cake either.
Mental background –
The 9ers were humiliated in the 2 last games in Seattle. None was a crucial must win for them but they are a proud team that doesn't get manhandled very often. Yes, they lost a few must win games earlier in the year but they feel that those were when they were missing their top receivers and hence do not count. They have been on fire lately after Crabtree returned and are as ready as can be to put up a big fight.
The saying goes – "It's not about the size of the dog in the fight, it's about the size of the fight in the dog". The 9ers come with all fight you would want in that dog and that dog is BIG.
Still, the past is not gone. If this game goes sideways for them in any way shap or form and they find themselves trailing by more then 1 score with their offense held to minimal gain – those past demons will be out of the bottle playing havoc on their minds. In a noisy Clink you can't hear your friends and when the wrong thought pops in your mind you are basically alone in your helmet to work it out.
We are the Seahawks, we chew gum and kick ass and we are all out of gum.
It has been working for us the whole year. We are who we are, we come out and find a way to win it. We are here to win it and we'll do whatever it takes.
When are at home with the crowd behind us. We take no prisoners on defense. We are here to WIN.
We are the most physical team in the game. We have the best defense ever to take a football field. We will beat you whoever you are.
We did it to 9ers here twice and nothing will make us happier then to do it again here and now.
All of it is great mentally and will bring us ready to go blow for blow.
Still, we all know that the offense has not been clicking smoothly as of late. The players know it too. When the games were tight (at SF) the 9ers came out on top. If the 9ers defense keeps us off the scoreboard and will lead or remain within a score to win it in the late stages of this game it would make past blowouts seem like an unrelated story. The offense might feel the pressure to outperform the 9ers, throw caution to the wind and just go for it. The defense will take risks to force turnovers rather then keep discipline. The 9ers are not a team you do that to. That's when Gore runs for 51 yards and the linebackers make you pay for your mistakes.
What can I say – it's the war of the Goliaths and the race to 23 points in on.
Anybody has 4 advils? 2 for me and 2 for my friend Percy? we need to be in peak form this weekend.